GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Thursday the suspected Interstate 96 shooter, Raulie Casteel, was back in a Howell courtroom to face terrorism charges.
Attorney General Bill Schuette has agreed to take on the case.
The previous charges from Livingston County will now be absorbed under the umbrella of the attorney general’s terrorism charge along with the charges from two other counties.
The terrorism charges presented Thursday in the courtroom in Howell included everything that happened in Livingston County.
A member of the task force said that is where the man from Delton was shot in the behind as he was on his way to a Tiger`s game.
A major with the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office who was involved in the task force that captured Casteel said charges of terrorism are rare. However, he said in this case it fits the crime.
“Terrorism is terrorism,” said Joel Maatman. “It `s a tough case. It sets everybody on edge. In this case, it put a lot of people on edge across the state.”
The terrorism charge encompasses 21 of the 24 alleged shootings in Shiawassee, Livingston and Ingham County.
“Does this make things easier? I think to have the state attorney`s office handle it from an administrative perspective absolutely,” said Maatman. “Instead of having three different trials, multiple jurisdictions, different counties, I think it`s a great decision by the county prosecutors to give it to the attorney general to have this one trial.”
Shooting victim Scott Arnold of Delton said he was surprised when he heard the new charges. However, he was happy the attorney general decided on the terrorism charge.
“That almost defines terrorism. Literally people were changing their lives because of what this person was doing,” said Arnold. “I think it’s great. Maybe it will deter other people from doing the same thing. I just wish I knew why he was doing it.”
The judge did not lower the $2 million bond that was first set in Livingston County for Casteel.
The terrorism charge could bring a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.
Casteel also faces 60 separate charges in Oakland County.